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Implementing NICE public health guidance for the workplace: overcoming barriers and sharing success 2012

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This report reviews how NHS trusts are implementing NICE guidance on improving staff health and wellbeing. Aimed at Boards and others with leading roles in trusts, the report examines the barriers and enablers to implementation with a view to supporting those who are implementing, or reviewing and revitalising, their staff health agenda.

Key recommendations

  • The following overarching organisational enablers were identified as supporting the implementation of the NICE workplace guidance and the development of an effective programme of work to support staff H&WB.
  • Values: make the link in your organisational values between patient outcomes and staff H&WB (including respecting and engaging staff).
  • Board involvement: demonstrate strong board involvement and support for the H&WB agenda by:
    • nominating a board lead with responsibility for staff H&WB who can develop and facilitate the links between different departments (eg communications, estates) that play a role in supporting the delivery of H&WB work
    • requesting updates on H&WB activity and regular reports on workforce metric data that integrate staff H&WB measures
    • ensuring feedback is provided to the board lead, implementer or H&WB steering group.
  • Governance: ensure your board lead for staff H&WB is proactive, supported by an implementer and leads a H&WB steering group that has an effective reporting line to the board.
  • Staff engagement: frequently assess staff H&WB needs using a wide range of methods (eg NHS Staff Survey, counselling reports) and involve staff and their representatives in planning and delivery of H&WB programmes.
  • Data: use data from a variety of sources as intelligence to plan interventions and target organisational hotspots.
  • H&WB strategy: use a H&WB strategy and corresponding action plan to set direction, maintain momentum and hold individuals to account for delivery. The recommendations in the NICE workplace guidance can be used as a framework to describe the evidence base for effective action.
  • Resources: make a small, dedicated budget available for staff H&WB activities. Consider the benefit of a coordinator role depending on the size of your organisation. Additional resources can be made available through:
    • making patient facilities and services available for staff (eg gyms, mental wellbeing and smoking cessation services)
    • developing strong relationships with external organisations (eg local councils) and securing local sponsorship
    • using profit-making activities, year-end unspent funds and charitable funds
    • making a business case to the board for specific programmes (such as case management)
    • developing a network of staff H&WB champions throughout the trust.
  • Involving managers: involve, train and convince managers that supporting staff H&WB is an integral part of their job. Incorporate aspects of H&WB into staff recruitment and managers’ objectives, supervision guidance and appraisals.